Archive | April, 2011

Introducing :: Styrofoam Art

29 Apr

Introducing :: Styrofoam Art

When we lived in Mexico a few years ago, we traveled there with very little.

Since we were only planning to live in Mexico one year, we just took the essentials and mostly bought temporary things in Mexico to live with.

Our house there was pretty small but how I loved it and the experience so.  We were lucky because our house was furnished…we just need to decorate and add our little touch to make it “home”.

I discovered this piece of art in a gallery in Mexico City and feel in LOVE.

I adored the bright color and the imagery.  It had a sense of happiness to it that made me feel good inside.  After we left the gallery, I thought about the painting for days. By thought, I really mean obsessed.

I could not get the thought of it and the image out of my head.

About a week of suffering later, I went back and bought it.  It cost the equivalent of $300 US dollars.  It wasn’t the wisest thing to do since we incurred large expenses getting settled in Mexico.  And…I KNEW when I bought it that there was a very high probability (99.99999999%) chance that I would never get to take it with me back to the states when we left Mexico.

It was a huge wasteful splurge and completely out of character for me.   Especially because, I knew it was made of Styrofoam.  STYROFOAM —A thin sheet of Styrofoam!

I had never seen or heard of such a thing!

How fragile, how crazy….

Why on earth would someone have ever painted on a Styrofoam?

But I didn’t care. I loved it and enjoyed it immensely that year.

Here it is hanging in our old house in Mexico City.

 

Thinking of those times in Mexico and looking at these pictures brings back such great memories!

Living in another country for a year was a surge of new experiences.

 

The sights, the food, the language, the culture!

 

Oh, to do it all over again!  A girl can dream…

Fast forward one year later, my husband’s job moved us back to the US and I had to leave my beautiful Styrofoam art masterpiece behind.  I almost gave it away to someone.  But something in me knew that maybe…just maybe I might see it again.  So instead of giving it way, I tried to try to save it.

And I did see it again. It is very long and crazy story with lots of turns and twists.  The simple version is I begged to stuff my beloved orange art in a someone’s basement (some of my husband’s family lives in Mexico City).  And there in a huge dark damp basement it sat for two years buried behind a billion boxes and unused furniture stacked up to the ceiling.

By a stroke of luck, I knew someone who was moving some things from Mexico City to the US and I begged (I am not above begging!) for them to please move my art with their belongings.  Not only did they agree but they kindly also went to that basement and spent hours digging behind boxes and furniture to find it.

And here it is now.  In my home in Los Angeles.

 

Funny that something so delicate –a flat thin piece of Styrofoam — has made it so far.

It has withstood years of damp conditions in a basement, several location transports, two countries and 2200 miles.

For a thing considered fragile, it has actually proven to be quite tough and resilient.  And a nice thing about it is that it is incredibly lightweight.  I can hold it up and dangle it on one finger!

I just received my baby back after all these years and miles.  It temporarily sits above a worktable where I work on craft projects.

I am soon going to make a special place for it in our dining room.

I love my orange foam baby and now that I have it, I am at peace again.  :)

Have you ever seen styrofoam art like this before?  What do you think about it?

UPDATE:   Thanks to reader Sandy for  helping me realize something I had omitted earlier.  The reason we could not take this piece of art with us from Mexico was basically due to money.  When we moved back from Mexico we had a lot of things to bring back with us. Our personal belongings like computers and clothes were very expensive to ship back. Since we had a limited budget, trying to find a shipping container and pay for shipping for this large piece of art was not in our budget. Also shipping from Mexico is not very reliable and customs fees and forms (especially for art) can be complicated and expensive.

i am ninja.

28 Apr

i am ninja.

Not really a ninja…but a Ninja lover.  Totally in love. Head over heels.  With a Ninja.

Have you seen this piece of work:

ninja master prep

I’d never heard of a Ninja before laying my eyes on him in Target.  We went to Target to get a Magic Bullet and sitting next to the Bullets were the Ninjas.  I was intrigued.

Standing the middle of the isle, my husband and I read reviews, watched videos and googled ‘the Ninja’…thank goodness for modern technology.

We decided on the Ninja and life has never been the same.

We are a smoothie-making machine over here…strawberry banana with spinach and flax snuck in for the kids, spinach-banana-blackberry, and my favorite…the Green Monster.

strawberry banana smoothie flax spinach

The Ninja is insane….crushing ice within a few seconds.

If you remember this about my love coffee, you know I loooove my coffee.  But it was becoming somewhat of a health issue and my doctor wanted me to stay away from caffeine.  I thought she was full.of.it so I keep drinking my beloved Organic Wild Blueberry with French Vanilla creamer.

Unfortunately, my doctor was right…and I made the decision to switch to decaf…cold turkey.

Not pretty, my friends…not pretty.

Now I know what drug users go through during withdraws.  It was awful…and I am convinced caffeine in a drug.

After about 2 weeks, I finally felt normal again…but the decaf coffee just didn’t taste the same and I really didn’t want coffee.  At all.

So I started reading about juicing…smoothies…and the Green Monster.  The health benefits are incredible.  So I thought I’d try it.

The Ninja rocks the Green Monster…in less than a minute flat.

Here’s the recipe for 2 Green Monsters:

spinach almond milk greek yogurt smoothing Green Monster

2 handfuls fresh spinach

2 bananas

1 cup Greek Yogurt (I like Oikos Honey or Vanilla)

1 cup Almond Milk

ice cubes

Green Monster

It is so freshing…and really good.  So good, my husband has one every morning…and he is one tough customer to please when it comes to ‘healthy’ stuff.

It’s yummy!  Enjoy friends!

And…Ninja has no clue who we are.  I just think Ninja rocks…my parents bought one too…and boxed up their Bullet.  No offense to the Bullet though.

 

What’s for Dinner Wednesday :: Cooking Pizza on The Grill

26 Apr

What’s for Dinner Wednesday :: Cooking Pizza on The Grill

Don’t be scared. :)  Sounds difficult right? It isn’t. This is one of the easiest things I have ever made.  The pizza doesn’t fall through the grill.  I repeat…the pizza does NOT fall through the grill.  Really!  I promise!!!

The pizza dough is placed directly on the cooking grate and cooks it like a dream.

The best thing about cooking pizza on a grill is the taste.  Don’t you just love a smokey flavor?  The grill produces a smokey goodness that absorbs adding great flavor to the toppings and crust… and it produces a bubbling cheesy top.

And…it’s fun!

The only things needed are:

  • pizza crust
  • olive oil
  • toppings of your choice

I am making today’s pizza with leftover grilled chicken, mushrooms, tomatoes and lite shredded cheese.  (Since I am using fresh tomatoes, I’m skipping tomato sauce this time but sauce is great on grilled pizza also).

Let’s grill some pizza!

First, start out with pizza dough of your choice. I cheat and buy Trader Joe’s ready made pizza dough. It is great tasting dough and for $1.29 a bag, I can’t resist.

If you have a great pizza dough recipe to share, please let us know!!  If one is highly recommended, I might live life on the reckless side and try making my own dough.

 

Ok, now that you have some sort of dough, roll it out to desired thickness. We like ours thin so that is what I tried to accomplish here — please ignore the wonky shape! :)

Preheat grill on medium heat.

Lightly brush one side of the pizza dough with olive oil.  The side with olive oil will placed directly on the grill. I’ve never had an issue with the pizza dough sticking but have always use olive oil just to help make sure.

 

Throw pizza dough directly on hot grill (olive oil side down).  Since this pizza dough was rolled thin, the grill grates are visible.  They will disappear once the dough starts rising. Close the grill top and let it cook for 2 minutes.

Again, please ignore my wonky shape.  It will taste great and that’s all that matters, right?

The pizza dough sometimes bubbles up like this.  Totally OK.  Once the pizza is flipped on the other side and the ingredients are added, the air in the bubble will deflate.

After the 1st side has cooked 2 minutes, reduce grill heat to low and flip pizza dough over to other side.

Here is the only part where FAST action is required.  At this point the pizza cooks quick, so it is important to load on the ingredients as fast as possible. I usually have all my ingredients sitting right next to the grill so when it’s time to add, I can quickly toss them on.

Once ingredients are loaded, close grill cover.  Open grill every 1-2 minutes and check on cooking process.

The toppings and cheese should cook quick. This pizza took less than 4 minutes to cook once all the topping were loaded.   All grills are different so, keep a watchful eye on progress.

Since pizza was rectangle shaped, I transported from grill with a cookie sheet.

 

Slice and serve!  :)

 

Somebody call 911! {giveaway alert}

26 Apr

Somebody call 911! {giveaway alert}

Inspired by the fantastic $79 Pottery Barn moss letters…

pottery barn moss letters

This one was created by me, for a precious friend’s birthday:

pottery barn moss letter burlap

You like??  You want??

Ok…I would love to burn my fingers with hot glue and send one to you!

Leave us a comment below telling us something funny or interesting about yourself….

and link our giveaway on Facebook and Twitter declaring your love for 221!

Here’s the link:   http://221vision.com/2011/04/26/somebody-call-911-giveaway-alert/#axzz1KTAt0PkM

Comments will close in one week…Good luck everyone!

xoxo,

Carrie & Angie

Happy Easter from 221!

24 Apr

My friend Dave, who owns Dave’s Catering and Event Planning, cooked an Easter extravaganza!  A huge feast with homemade biscuits, waffles and fruit, quiche, ham and hash browns.

We had a great day with an outdoor brunch!!

We hope your Easter was as blessed and bountiful. Happy Easter!

Love, Carrie and Angie

DIY Custom Art Made from Lattice Wood

22 Apr

DIY Custom Art Made from Lattice Wood

I want to share with you an art project I made using wood strips. The entire project cost $4.00 since I used old art frame and leftover supplies.

I was on a mission to find some type of art that tied together several colors in our living room: burnt orange, green and various browns.  I could never find anything just right so I decided to make my own piece of art.  For my first art piece, I think it came out quite well! It really fits in the room and the pieces of wood give the room an earthy and natural touch.

The project started out with this piece of art.  It is a modern acrylic art deco kind of piece.  It wasn’t horrible. It actually looked great in our old house when we lived in Austin, Texas.  This is our old living room and the art I am referring to is the one with red on the right.

Our old house was somewhat mid-century modern with contemporary furniture.

Our new house in Los Angeles is nothing like that and that piece of art just didn’t fit.  Plus, I had owned that piece of art almost 8 years and was just sick of looking at it.  Sometimes you gotta change things up! :)

I thought about selling the art but figured I wouldn’t get much for it.  Then the idea came to me to reuse the frame for a new art project.  The frame was solid wood, heavy and nice and would be a great base for a new piece of art.

I had the idea to cover the surface with different colored wood strips. For my project, I chose wood lath.  This is redwood lath.  It is typically used to make lattice and is lightweight and cheap.

(Please note, this project could also easily be recreated using MDF or plywood instead of an old art frame).

I bought mine for .38 cents for an 8 foot strip.  The hardware store cut it up into the lengths that matched my art frame — for FREE! I spent approximately $4 total for the redwood laths.

Next step, staining the woods strips.  I chose various colors including two brown colors from Varathane, Early American and Espresso and three stains from iKea, white, green and red.  When painted with only one coat, the red color actually looks orange.  (See here also).

 

Then time to glue!  A glue like gorilla glue can be used.  I actually opted to use tile grout to adhere the wood since we had quite a bit left over from a a home improvement project.

The wood strips were attached in random patterns.

Since some of the strips were lifting, I put objects on top to help keep them secured while drying.

All done!  For now, I have the frame resting vertically against the wall.  I need to hang the art on the wall horizontally but first… buy a stud finder. The art frame is so heavy now!

What do you think??!  Do you like? :)

Check out these fun blogs for amazing inspiration!

Between Naps on the PorchDIY ShowoffDomestically SpeakingFinding FabulousFunky Junk InteriorsHouse of HepworthsMiss Mustard SeedMy Backyard EdenPerfectly ImperfectPrimitive & ProperRemodelaholicSAS InteriorsShabby NestWhipperberry,Today’s Creative BlogThe Thrifty HomeSavvy Southern StyleSome Day CraftsEisy MorganGreen Door Designs,  At Home with K,Home Stories A2Z

 

Blue Coffee Bag Side Tables

21 Apr

Blue Coffee Bag Side Tables

Upon Carrie’s insistence, I finally went to Goodwill.  It was my first Goodwill experience and it was a definitely interesting. When I walked in, I was confused. Was this where old shoes go to die?

But after wondering around for a while, I realized what a goldmine Goodwill can be.  It is not a place you walk into and have billions of goodies at your fingertips.  Goodwill is a place for hunters.

You have to search and be patience and then find your kill. Well, I found my kill.  These cute little nesting tables.

Priced at $5. Awesome.

I carted them home and then later discovered another goodie about these little babies.  I think they might be Eames era mid century three-legged spider tables.   Double Awesome.

Before you think I ruined an antique, let me first let it known these tables were damaged.  The leather like tops (maybe leather, maybe pleather?) had tears on the sides and were also pierced with tacks on the top!  So there ya’ go.  Nothing wrong going on here.

My initial plans were to cover the tops with coffee bags and paint the legs shabby chic white.  I did that but then changed my mind.  The white was pretty but wasn’t exactly matching my bedroom decor and our new Anthropologie bed cover. So the legs were then repainted blue.

Here is how I originally made them in white (and then at the bottom of this post, I’ll show you how I converted them to blue).

First the tops were popped off which was easy because they just wiggled off.

The legs were painted white.   Then instead of scraping the paint off and damaging the wood —  what I did was my favorite aging technique ever…taking a cloth dripping with water  (while the paint still wet) and ringing the water out of the cloth so that it washes off some of the paint in selected areas.  It is so easy but hard to explain and even harder to photograph since it is done so quickly.  Maybe I’ll make a video of it soon! :)

Covering the table tops was easy.  Since the leather like tops were thin and flat, the leather was left on.  The tops were used as a pattern for cutting the coffee bags.The pattern was cut about 1.5 inches from the edge of the top of the table. I should have made it larger because the coffee bags were very firm and a little extra space would have been helpful when turning the edges over.

Time to attach the coffee bags.  The coffee bag was laid “pretty side” down.  The table tops were laid on top of the coffee bag.

Then the sides were pulled up and glued to the back edge of the table tops, using Gorilla Glue.

To keep the coffee bag and table top pressed together while the glue dried, I secured with these high tech fancy rocks from my patio.  Ha!  Hey, it worked.

Once dried, the tops were popped back into the legs.

DONE!  Well maybe not done?

We needed some small bedside tables in our bedroom.

The white shabby chic tables were pretty but they just didn’t quite go with the design direction I am trying to accomplish in our bedroom.

So, they got a coat of blue paint!

Now they compliment the bedspread better.

I think the blue matches and also goes with the funky eclectic vibe.

There is not a lot of room in our bedroom.  These tables are a good fit because they are small yet still provide ample space for a drink or a book beside the bed.

What do you think?

What’s for Dinner Wednesday :: PW’s Spinach Quesadillas

20 Apr

What’s for Dinner Wednesday :: PW’s Spinach Quesadillas

I seriously love the Pioneer Woman.  But I call her Ree…because I feel like I know her on a first name basis.

She rocks.

And she’s picked a few of my pictures in her photography contests.  Talk about having a fainting spell at my desk.  But that is not why I love her.

Anyway…if you haven’t heard by now, Ree will have her very own cooking show on the Food Network in the very near future.

I’m sure the show will be a hit.  Because she rocks.

I do try her recipes often…and my hips will agree, they are awesome.

Try these Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas…they rock.  Just like Ree.

pioneer woman cooks recipe spinach mushroom quesadilla

  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 16 ounces, weight White Mushrooms, Sliced
  • ⅓ cups Sherry Or Wine
  • 3 Tablespoons (additional) Sherry Or Wine
  • Kosher Salt And Pepper To Taste
  • 1 bag Baby Spinach
  • 12 whole Flour Tortillas (Soft Taco Size)
  • 8 ounces, weight Fontina (or Monterey Jack) Cheese, Grated
  • 3 ounces, weight Goat Cheese (chevre)
  • Extra Butter, For Tortillas
  • Salsa, For Serving

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet and add sliced mushrooms. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then saute over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, then pour in sherry. Add salt and pepper. Continue cooking for 6 to 8 minutes, or until all liquid is evaporated. Remove mushrooms from skillet and set aside.

Return skillet to stovetop and reduce heat to medium-low. Melt additional 1 tablespoons of butter and add a couple of tablespooons of sherry. Add spinach to skillet and stir gently as it wilts. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then cook for 2 minutes, max. Remove from skillet.

To assemble the quesadillas, arrange grated Fontina, spinach, and mushrooms on top of one flour tortilla. Dot with goat cheese. Top with a little more Fontina, then top with second tortilla. Smear softened butter lightly on both sides of the quesadilla, then grill until golden brown and until cheese is totally melted. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.

Slice quesadillas into four wedges and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

xoxo,

My New Bed Cover – Anthropologie Anya Quilt

19 Apr

My New Bed Cover – Anthropologie Anya Quilt

Now that our new bed is in place, it’s time to decorate the entire room.  It’s been a slow process and I haven’t quite known where to start.  We just made some headway however and picked out a new bedcover.  (Don’t worry – the acrylic art at the top of the bed is eventually going to GO!) :)

Anthropologie’s Anya Quilt.

Pieces of patches of folkloric voile on overlap into a mazurka of color and pattern.

Voile and Mazurka? Ha – no I didn’t write that, it is the description on Anthropologie’s website.

I was kind of shocked my husband agreed with this bedcover since it’s not too masculine.  But suprisingly, my husband actually picked this out!

It’s a big colorful change from our old bed cover.  I liked our old cover but it was very thick and heavy.  Now that summer is coming, something lighter was needed.

The new cover is thin, cool and light.  However not all is well.  I have somewhat of a kink in this good story.  The new Anthropologie cover is so thin, it tore!

Grrrr…

I thought about exchanging the cover but we had already used it a few times and probably would encounter the same tearing issue again with a replacement.

So it was either return it and get a different type of blanket or keep it.   We decided to keep it!

I am going to stitch up the tear.  The cover is such a fun eclectic statement, that we think the stitching will just add to it’s character.

By the way, check out the new side tables!  They are tables I restored with coffee bags and will tell you all about them soon!

If I Could Wear Anything…

19 Apr

If I Could Wear Anything…

It would be this:

anthropologie

I am loving anything yellow and gray right now.

My kitchen is gray…and fresh yellow gladiolus rest on my kitchen table.

Is it just me or do you start dressing yourself the way you dress your home?

A Girl’s Gotta Shop!

18 Apr

A Girl’s Gotta Shop!

I am back in Los Angeles now.  Unpacking isn’t so bad because I am unwrapping all the delightful things I bought in Mexico!  Here are my excellent shopping conquests!

I am obsessed with this ring. The picture doesn’t justify…it is simply stunning in person.  It is made from a seed!

The Tagua seed is referred to as “Vegetable Ivory” because it is the only 100% sustainable alternative for elephant ivory since it’s color and hardness are very similar to ivory.  It saves elephants from being slaughtered and no rain forests are damaged because trees are not cut down.  The seed hangs from the tree and is simply removed.  Once dried, it can be carved and died.

I only bought one because they were pricey.  Here are all the others I was drooling over.

These three beautiful necklaces are also handmade.

The red one is made of some sort of shell, maybe coconut shell… and the green and black ones are made of Tagua seed.

I just love that seed!

Check out my handbag and pillow cover.

The pillow was handmade in Mexico.  I had never seen this embroidering design in Mexico before and the store keeper told me it was a new style that is evolving in Mexico.  I LOVE it and it will look so great with my pink couch.

This embroidered purse was handmade in Guatamala.

Check out the coolest iPad cover ever!!  Made from Mexican table cloth called oilcloth.  I also bought this oilcloth coin purse.

These necklaces I bought for my niece and nephews are made from coconut shells.

Crocheted earrings.  For fancy or casual wear and very lightweight!

These skirts were made in Oaxaca.  Oaxaca is known for their beautiful textiles and these skirts are handmade.

So nice, I bought twice!  A blue and green one.

And more beaded jewelry!

Thank you Mexico!

Snooping Around Our Home…

16 Apr

If you don’t know Mrs. Limestone yet, you really should!  Stefanie is amazingly talented and we are thrilled (again!) to call Brooklyn Limestone home for today!

FavoriteNookBanner

Click on over to Brooklyn Limestone for a peek inside our favorite places at home…and say hi to some of the other talented blogs Stefanie featured in her series.

Thank you Stefanie!  We had a ball sharing with you!

xoxo,

Carrie & Angie

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